Running During My Off-Season

I’m in-between half marathons currently, which means I haven’t been doing a whole lot of running. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been active, though. My last half marathon was in New Jersey and was my 40th state. Given that my next half marathon isn’t until November, that leaves a big chunk of the summer with no training plan. I’ll start training for my next race in a couple of weeks.

Now that I’m down to the final 10 states on my quest for a half marathon in all 50 states, I’ve gone from running a race every season to a race in three out of four seasons. After my race in November, I won’t have another race until May, which means my off-season will be during the winter months for the most part. Last year, I was training during the winter for my race in Utah in February. I was cursing my decision when I had to run my long runs in the cold last January and February, but I’m sure next summer when I’m training for a half marathon in August and have to do my long runs in the heat and humidity I’ll be cursing my decision to do a summer race.  Oh well!

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Although I haven’t been running a ton, I’ve been having fun biking with my family- here’s my daughter on a recent family ride

OK.  Back to my point, which is it’s kind of different having such a long break off of serious miles. Sure, I’ve still been running here and there, but the longest run I’ve gone on since the race in May is 4 miles. I’ll run 5 miles this weekend, but still, this is what many of you runners are doing for your mid-week runs. I’ve been working on strength training and some other things as well during this time off of race training, so it’s been a good time to do some other things like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which I’ll ease off of when I’m in the double digits for my long runs.

There’s also a mental aspect of taking a break from half marathon training. Running is such a big part of my life, when I’m not doing so much of it, I have kind of mixed feelings. I’m enjoying having extra time in my day but I also miss my time out on the roads and trails. I’ve been running my long runs on the same trail for the past couple of years and it’s quite scenic and not crowded, so I feel a sense of peace when I’m running. Even though parts of the trail are close to neighborhoods, there are enough trees and wooded areas that you feel miles away from everything at times.

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I haven’t missed this hill from my long runs!

Until recently I didn’t really have an “off-season” from training. I’ve always taken a solid two week break from every half marathon I run, sometimes a little more if I feel like I need it, but my next race was never more than 2 or 3 months away usually. I suppose I could have ran shorter distance races this summer, but honestly the idea of running a race in the heat and humidity we have here in North Carolina doesn’t appeal to me. That could be an option for next spring during my long break between races, though. I haven’t ran a 5k by myself (I ran one with my daughter a couple of years ago) since I first started running races so it would be interesting to see how I’d do.

How about you guys? Most of the running blogs I follow make me look like a slacker when it comes to running races! Do you guys ever take an off-season from running and/or racing?

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Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

12 thoughts on “Running During My Off-Season”

  1. I think a break is necessary mentally sometimes, and you’re not even close to being a slacker. A good 4 to 5 mile run is perfect for off-season. Besides, you’ve been doing other things that you probably wouldn’t have time for if you were in double-digit mode. I trained through winter to run Maui in January 2016… I will never train through winter again, lol. Having to run on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day… madness, I tell you. 😄

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    1. Thanks, Paula. You know how to make a person feel better! : ) It’s definitely been nice not “having” to run long runs in the heat and humidity, and also being able to do other things I would otherwise barely squeeze in, if that. Running through the holidays is something I’ll hopefully never have to do!

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  2. I normally take winter off from running and racing. Living near Lake Erie means there’s a lot of lake effect snow and I swear people seem to be more apt to aim for runners during the cold months. Great job on all your running! Don’t feel bad that you’ve tapered it down, I am looking forward to doing that myself in the near future.

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    1. Thank you! I can’t imagine living that far north but I’m such a weather wimp especially when it comes to snow and cold. I grew up in WV and hated winter every year so when I was old enough to move away, I moved south! Enjoy your break from running this winter. It seems like it will be here before we know it.

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  3. I would definitely say you’re not a slacker! You’re doing great! I am proud of myself if I do 1 race in a year! I get this gnawing feeling when I don’t run though so breaks are really hard for me, even though I know they’re necessary. I think it’s good for the body and mind. Kind of like hitting the refresh button.

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  4. There used to be no such thing as an “off season” for me. I’ve trained through winter for years now and enjoy it. Ran my first-ever winter 50K this January. However, since I’ve begun running a 100-miler in the summer, I take a few weeks off after it – just easy bike rides and fun runs. But fall races are too much fun to skip, so I get back into it in August.

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  5. Holy crap. I’m super behind on reading blogs. I had this post filed away in my emails and I’m only starting to read everything. After my marathons in October and January, I will definitely take a much needed break. Running 3 miles a day is perfect for me when I’m not training for anything and still want to maintain some level of fitness. I miss that activity level. Haha 😂

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